Clare Bresnahan

Clare B.

Seattle, WA

Lesson Details



Clare delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 4+ and special needs

Teaching since:
September 2006

*** Teaching philosophy ***
My teaching method draws on the Suzuki method, but also includes ideas and repertoire from many other methods and influences. My favorite parts of the Suzuki method are the parallels drawn between music and spoken language, the emphasis on memorization as a tool to shift focus onto the sound rather than the visual, and the belief that music should be taught to improve people's lives not just to produce competition-winning virtuosos.

Although I have taken many courses on teaching stringed instruments, I think most of the tools I use in my teaching are things I have picked up from my own private teachers. Over the years I have collected the approaches, ideas, and exercises of the most influential musicians in my life and I now draw upon what I found most valuable when formulating a curriculum for my own students.

I also have a background in something called Body Mapping, which is a method for helping musicians to be aware of their bodies while playing so they can be quick and efficient with their movements and also avoid discomfort from repetitive motions. This influences my teaching and I focus on making sure each student is physically well set up.

Although I primarily play and teach classical music I enjoy exploring other genres if that is what the student is interested in. My own personal experience includes working with movie music, jazz, rock, and American and Celtic fiddling.

I view private music lessons as a commitment on the part of both the teacher and the student. My commitment is to be kind, encouraging, and provide you with the skills and knowledge required to achieve your goals with the violin, whatever they may be. The commitment I expect from my students is for them to try their best and put in the work (home practice) that is required to make private lessons effective and worthwhile.

Violinist Clare enjoys a varied musical life of symphony work, chamber music, and teaching. She recently relocated to her home state of Washington from Madison, Wisconsin where she earned her Master of Music degree with David Perry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and held a position in the Madison Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to her time in Wisconsin, Clare spent time studying privately with David Takeno, Chair of Violin at Guildhall School of Music in London. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree magna cum laude at Central Washington University, where she served as concertmaster of the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. During college, Clare won the senior division of the Washington American String Teachers Association Solo Competition. She has spent her summers participating in music festivals such as the Castleman Quartet Program and the National Orchestral Institute.

Aside from her recent position with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Clare's orchestral experience includes performances with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Iowa, Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Walla Walla Symphony, Oregon East Symphony, Wenatchee Valley Symphony, and the Lake Chelan Bach Festival Orchestra.

Within the world of chamber music, Clare has performed with groups such as the New Muse Ensemble in Madison and the Washington Allegro Vivace Ensemble.

As a teacher, Clare enjoys the challenge of working with many different ages and ability levels. She maintains a private studio of violin and viola students and also has extensive experience teaching group classes and coaching for public schools, youth symphonies, and summer camps. She partially draws on a background in the Suzuki Method and also incorporates aspects of her training in a body awareness and healthy movement method called Body Mapping.

While her formal training has been in classical music, Clare enjoys venturing into other genres such as jazz, rock, and fiddling as well. In her spare time, Clare loves soaking up the beauty of the Pacific Northwest while hiking, sailing, playing with dogs, and savoring great food and coffee

+ Read More


Upper strings coach in the Musical Pathways Program
Sep 2016 - Present
Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras

Coaching strings at Denny Middle School, Chief Sealth High School, and Aki Kurose Middle School as part of a program to create enriched and thriving music education programs in those areas of Seattle.

Private violin teacher
Sep 2006 - Present
Self Employed

Teaching violin students of all ages and ability levels out of my home.

Violin teacher - group and private lessons
Aug 2015 - Jun 2016
Madison Music Makers

Teaching group and private violin lessons through an organization that offers classes and instruments to low income families at no cost.

Violin and viola teacher
Aug 2015 - Jun 2016
Farley's House of Pianos

String department coordinator, upper strings teacher
Dec 2013 - Jun 2016
Prairie Music Academy

I teach private violin and viola lessons as well as group classes. I also perform administrative tasks such as organizing recitals and developing new string programs and activities.

Violin teacher
Sep 2013 - May 2014
Community Music Lessons -- UW-Madison

Teaching private lessons to community members and non-music majors at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Early childhood and beginning strings teacher
Aug 2013 - Aug 2013
Prep String Camp -- Central Washington University

Assistant teacher in the Early Childhood and Beginning Strings classes at Central Washington University's summer camp for string students.

Upper strings coach
Oct 2012 - Jun 2013
Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra

Coaching string students in the public schools and in community orchestras.

Upper strings coach
Sep 2007 - Jun 2008
Kittitas Valley Youth Orchestra

Coaching the violin sections of the orchestra including running sectionals.


Master of Music - Violin Performance
Aug 2013 - May 2015
University of Wisconsin - Madison
Private study with renowned teacher David Takeno
Oct 2011 - May 2012
Bachelor of Music - Violin Performance
Sep 2007 - Jun 2011
Central Washington University


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Violin Book 2
Aug 2013
Suzuki Association of the Americas

Violin Book 1
Aug 2012
Suzuki Association of the Americas

Photos & Videos

Photo by Clare B.

Photo by Clare B.

Photo by Clare B.

Photo by Clare B.

Photo by Clare B.

Photo by Clare B.
+ 1 more

2 Reviews

Write a Review
Jennifer M. Oct 1, 2015
Violin · In home

Clare is very solid in her violin knowledge. I am not a beginner and have had other violin teachers in the past. She allows me to decide which aspects of my playing I want to focus on. My first 2 lessons have been very helpful. She has told me things I did not know before.

+ Read More
chelsie M. Jan 18, 2013

Clare is amazing she is patient and has various approaches of explaining things so that you get an through understanding. I really enjoy my lessons.

Clare is patient and an excellant teacher I look foward to my weekly lessons. She is very good at the way she teaches.

+ Read More

You may want to revisit

Previously viewed teachers: